Driving Directions Qatar

QATAR, an oil-rich emirate which lies halfway along the coast of The Gulf, is an absolute monarchy. A former British Protectorate, it became fully independent in 1971.

It comprises a low barren peninsula and a few small islands. Apart from some low hills in the northwest, it consists of low-lying, arid, stony desert and salt flats.

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The climate is hot, and uncom­fortably humid in summer, and the winters are mild with rain in the north (less than 127 millimeters or 5 inches a year).

Google maps™ Qatar

Vegetation and wildlife species are limited and adapted to desert conditions.

Most freshwater comes from natural springs and wells or desalination plants. Some vegetables and fruit are grown, but the herding of sheep, goats and some cattle is the main agricultural activity.

The country is famous for its high-quality camels. The discovery and exploitation of oil have resulted in a high standard of living for the people of Qatar, with some of the revenue being used to build hospitals and a road system and to provide free education and medical care for its citizens.

The Dukhan oil field has an expected life of 40 years, and the reserves of natural gas are enormous. To diversify the economy, new manufacturing industries, such as iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, and petrochemical plants, developed.

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